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Anthony Birchak returns to UFC after four years, steps in to face Gustavo Lopez at UFC Vegas 13

UFC Fight Night: Birchak v Lopes Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

One man’s unfortunate situation is another’s good fortune. After Felipe Colares was forced out UFC Vegas 13 following a positive COVID-19 test, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) had to scramble to find a replacement on a week’s notice. And it didn’t take more than one day for the promotion to find someone, as UFC matchmakers turned to a familiar face to save the day. Indeed, Anthony Birchak has agreed to step in to take the fight against Gustavo Lopez, set to go down this Saturday night (Nov. 7, 2020) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Birchak hasn’t competed inside the Octagon since July 2016, defeating Dileno Lopez at UFC Fight Night 90. Despite coming out on top that night, the promotion opted not to re-sign Birchak and eventually released him. During his two-year stint with the promotion, Birchak went an even 2-2. After bouncing around from promotion-to-promotion, Birchak gets another chance to make another impression on the biggest stage in the sport.

Lopez, meanwhile, is coming off a loss to Merab Dvalishvili at UFC on ESPN 10 in what was his Octagon debut. Prior to that, Lopez was on a three-fight win streak under the Combate America’s banner.

UFC Vegas 13 will feature a Light Heavyweight showdown between former title contenders Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira. In the co-main event, Andrei Arlovski takes on Tanner Boser in Heavyweight action.